Disney's 13 live-action adaptations ranked from worst to best

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2022
Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2022 /
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12. The Lion King

The Lion King
THE LION KING - Featuring the voices of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala and Donald Glover as Simba, /

If Disney's classic hit could work as a Broadway Musical, surely it could as a live-action film, right? Wrong. Jon Favreau made many mistakes, starting with the animals being too realistic and thus lacking the expressive faces needed to make the story work. That's without baffling decisions like the handling of "Be Prepared" and some other unneeded story shifts. It's proof why trying to be "realistic" in these movies fails and that welcoming more whimsey would have made a far more lively adaptation as this one failed to roar. 

11. Dumbo

Disney's Dumbo (2019)
PARTNERS -- In Disney’s live-action reimagining of “Dumbo,” accomplished aerialist Colette Marchant /

Tim Burton's style just didn't quite fit Disney's famous huge-eared pachyderm. Old Burton buddies Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton tried but failed to capture the magic and even the sights of Dumbo flying didn't have the awe they should have. The first half is far too slow-paced, and while Burton does do a good job putting in emotional beats on the human characters, it fails to connect as it should. It's not terrible, but not as good as it could have been and how even Burton can be too quirky for his own good. 

10. Lady and The Tramp

Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson) and Tramp (voiced by Justin Theroux) in Disney’s live-action LADY /

This isn't a bad film, it's just the most forgettable of the Disney live-action adaptations. The brutal truth is outside of the famous spaghetti kiss, few even recall what the original Lady and the Tramp was about. Watching real-life dogs with CGI'd lips act out the story is a different take and to its credit, the movie manages to make it work. We get the big scenes and story, but at the end of the day, it falls into a film that's a decent watch but not that special among the live-action adaptations.